You have one life. Either you live your own dreams or work for someone else's dream. The choice is yours.
If you are tired of your nine-to-five job, you are most likely to think of starting something of your own. Most people dream of starting their own business, and all it takes is a bright idea to initiate the journey towards having a successful business.
A business idea is a promising concept that generates commercial gain by providing a service or a product to people who need it. It also helps to create employment opportunities. The best business ideas are born out of passion, timing, skills, and strategic thinking-though not necessarily in that order. If you imagine a business to be like a pyramid, the idea would be its base or foundation upon which it is built.
What makes a business idea click?
A great business idea comes naturally to people who think in the right way. Some business ideas which have been very successful in the past have some common features. They are:
- Low start-up costs.
- Minimal overheads.
- Abundant customers.
- Serve a need.
To generate a good business idea, you must first do market research and find out which products are in high demand. Here are some ways to come up with great business ideas:
- Go to Amazon or Google and find out which are the top-selling products. It will give you some directions on what products to launch.
- Use Causal Thinking - Effectual thinking is when you follow the pattern of cause and effect when exploring a business idea. You first think of a problem, and then you decide how to solve it. Take a stock of your unique skill sets and assets, and think about how you can utilise them to the best.
Your assets include your expertise, knowledge, networks, and qualifications. Ask yourself these - What is my core competency? What is that one skill that people compliment me for? What are the products or services I wish had existed now? And how could I use my core skills to fill that gap?
- Identify Problems - A successful business satisfies a specific need or solves a problem, which no one ever thought of before. You can join Facebook groups from your industry and ask people.
Evaluating a business idea
It is not just an idea that helps successful entrepreneurs. It is also the desire to strike out on their own. But, whatever be your business idea, you should also have the necessary experience and skill to back it up. Suppose you want to start a day-care centre for kids. But you have never visited one before. So, the idea is not advisable for you because you don’t have the required knowledge to run one.
Taking the first steps to start a business means you have to do a serious reality check. Your first or second idea might not be the best one. When you think that you have got a great idea, it is then time to test it.
Examples of innovative business ideas
Uber became a $ 50 billion company in just six years with its simple yet unusual idea of calling a cab at the press of a button. It is a pioneer in the development of self-driving cars. These unique ideas have helped it to gain over 78 million active users.
At a time when Snapchat entered the social media space, Facebook and Twitter were already ruling the market. Snapchat attempted to something different. It introduced self-disappearing photos and videos which users had never experienced before. People loved the idea, and within three years of its launch, Snapchat was the fastest growing social media app.
People want to start their own business due to a lot of reasons: Maybe you are passionate about something. Or you don’t want to work under somebody and be your boss. Many business ideas only require a small investment.
Steps to start a business
Starting a business involves planning, making important financial decisions, and complying with regulations. For individuals who are considering how to start a business, the following points are noteworthy:
- Identify your business idea-Spend some time to think whether this is the right business for you. Many people don’t give much thought to their business idea.
Sometimes they receive, what they feel to be a hot tip from some friends, and think it is a great idea. But this can be dangerous and set you down the wrong path.
Conduct Market Research
Market research is a way to gather information about businesses already operating in your area and potential customers. It will reveal if there is an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business.
No matter what your business is, you must have a written plan. Form goals and objectives for your new company. Start with a detailed outline of what you wish to accomplish.
Your business plan should include the following:
- Market Research about the strengths and weaknesses of your nearest competitors.
- Business Model-Outline about your products and who are your potential customers.
- Executive Summary-Your company profile and how your business is structured.
Obtain Start-up Capital
Whether you use your savings or obtain loans, starting a business requires money, and the process can take months to complete. So start early. If you need lending, what will the banks require from you?
Set Up a Legal Business Structure
Setting up your company as a corporation or limited company are popular structures for many small businesses. These protect the owner’s personal assets from business debts and liabilities.
Decide on software
First-time entrepreneurs need to identify business software that will help them to scale up in the future. You should select software that will help you with analytics, accounting, project management, email management, and other day-to-day tasks. Another useful software that you should use is CRM. It will help you to collect all the details of your customers in one central database. It helps you to remain organised as your business grows and also keeps you aligned with your team.
Establish a web presence
The landscape is moving rapidly as businesses move online. Having a website is essential in today’s world of the internet and social media. Register a URL that is relevant and memorable to your company and industry.
How to zero in on a good business idea?
Coming up with a business idea might be easy, but coming up with a good one might be a challenge. The trick is to find an idea that is worth spending money on. Here are some tips that will help you to decide whether your business idea is worth pursuing:
- The business should fit your lifestyle. Suppose you are an outdoors person. There is no point in choosing an enterprise that will require you to work 60 hours a week. You have to choose such an idea that will not cause burn-out later.
- A new idea-The idea should be such that no one has ever thought of it before. Such an idea will be attractive to potential investors.
- An old idea, reimagined-Not every great business idea needs to be unique. Maybe someone else is doing it. Many successful businesses are based on an old concept that has been re-invented.
- Research-You should know the market before you jump right in. Test your ideas by asking yourself the following-How will you stand apart from competitors? Is there enough demand for the product or service in the market?
- Focus on your experience, passion, and skills-Can you run this company? Do you have the skills and experience to take the company forward? If the answer to all this is yes, then your idea is good.
- Other people are joining your team - If you are building a business, and other people are joining you on your journey then you must be doing a great job. It means that your product or service is good, and people are ready to believe in you.
- Run a crowd-funding campaign-If you are tech-savvy, then crowd-funding is a great way to check whether your idea is fundable. Letting others judge you, will tell you whether people have faith in your product or service.
There is an old saying-’Ideas are worthless; execution is everything’. You know you have a good business idea when customers buy your products in increasingly large numbers. When you get to the point when you have meaningful income, and the revenue is increasing predictably, then your business is on a sound growth track. Sales are the final validation that your business idea is sound.
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